Model and muse Meghan Collison is a veteran of the modeling industry. As one of an elite number of models in Steven Meisel’s camp, Meghan has appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue seven times. Her feline gaze can be seen in a growing list of blue-chip advertising campaigns in addition to all the most sought after international runways and she shows no sign of slowing down. I recently spoke with the Edmonton native about her legendary career.

What was your childhood like growing up in Edmonton?

I had a typical childhood, except I always wanted a pet but I was never allowed to have one.

Tell us about how you were discovered.

My mom heard an ad on the radio announcing that there was a model search—hosted by Mode Models—happening at a local mall. She encouraged me to go because I fit the height requirements to enter. Much to my surprise I ended up winning the search and that’s how I started modeling. I’ve been with Mode Models for 13 years now.

How did you deal with isolation of life in New York being so far from your friends and family?

When I first moved to New York it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. It definitely was an adjustment not being around my friends and family. This was before iPhones and FaceTime, but I remember texting and calling my family a lot. I also traveled between my hometown Edmonton and New York more frequently back then. It was a transition period, but I learned a lot about being independent and I’m grateful for the experience.

You’ve had a storied relationship with Steven Meisel, appearing on the cover of Italian Vogue several times. Tell us about what it’s like working with him.

He is amazing and inspiring to be around. I am so grateful for his love and support throughout my career. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I am eternally grateful.

Who were your biggest advocates at the beginning of your career?

Honestly, my brother was the first person to truly believe in me. He helped me gain the confidence to move to NYC with so many unknowns in my future. He has always been there for me. Success in modeling is never a solo endeavor. I’m so thankful for all the photographers, agents, stylists, makeup artists, hairdressers, casting directors, art directors, and brands that have been advocates of mine. There are too many to even begin to name.

When did you realize you’d finally made it?

I can’t remember a specific moment, but there have been many highlights for me including: Italian Vogue covers, my image used for a limited edition puzzle by Steven Meisel, and Prada campaigns to name a few!

You’re somewhat of an industry veteran now. What keeps you interested in modeling?

I enjoy the creative process of modeling and photography. I also love traveling and meeting new people.

How has modeling shaped you and your world view?

It definitely helped make me more independent. I used to be quite shy when I was younger and it helped me overcome that as well. As far as worldview goes, I’ve been able to travel and experience different countries and cultures. It’s definitely opened my eyes and given me a greater appreciation that our differences are what makes us special.

What’s next for you after modeling?

I would love to live somewhere by the sea. It’s been a long-lasting dream of mine.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I can’t whistle.

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